Former Auburn offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Cole Cubelic closely followed hall at his alma mater, and relayed this thoughts on the Seahawks rookie in a segment with Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports 710.
“First of all, I’ll just say this – you’re getting an amazing human being in your facility,” Cubelic said. “Derick Hall is a guy that came back to play one more football season with his teammates because he enjoyed being at Auburn, he enjoyed being an Auburn football player, he enjoyed his teammates. I think he wanted to prove that he could be a guy that led a football team, or at least that side of the football and go out and try to better themselves from what they were the year before.”
It’s hard not to root for Hall when you know his remarkable story. He was born prematurely at under three pounds and without a heartbeat. Hall was on life support for a week, while his mother was told by hospital staff that he would likely be in a permanent vegetative state. Not only did Hall defy the odds, by age 9 he was playing tackle football.
At 6’3 and 255-pounds, Hall comes in a little bit lighter than fellow SEC edge rusher Darrell Taylor, who’s racked up 16 sacks over the past two seasons. Mike Salk wondered if Hall would have a similar playing style to Taylor, but Cubelic views Hall’s strength, speed, and explosiveness as superior.
“I really liked Darrell Taylor coming out and I liked him at Tennessee,” he said. “Taylor feels much more like a four-down defensive end than a 3-4 edge defender, which is how I would classify Derick Hall. I think Derick Hall’s going to have a little bit more explosiveness, a little bit more twitch, a little bit more speed. I think he’s just a stronger football player in general. Darrell Taylor just gives you more length, which would be the biggest advantage I think he would offer, maybe a little more flexibility as well. He’ll get a little lower to the ground in that dip and rip than Derick Hall could, but out in space I would trust Derick a bit more, even though it’s not his strength.”
You can listen to the full interview below and get a little more insight on Seattle’s newest pass rusher, as the Seahawks continue to rebuild what’s been a struggling front in recent seasons. As I said earlier, it’s hard not to root for Hall and I hope he can continue his college success in the pros. The fact that he’s even alive is a miracle in itself, let alone just a few months away from playing in the NFL.